Gordy Ainsleigh: From rider to creator of the Ultra Trail

July 29, 2021

Gordy Ainsleigh: From rider to creator of the Ultra Trail

En The Indian Face We have designed caps for almost all sports that are practiced in free sport and that take place in a natural environment. In today's post we tell you about our Born To Ultra Trail caps y Born To Run. We also tell you the story of how the Ultra Trail was born.

If you still do not know it, we encourage you to read it, it is worth knowing!

Keep reading…

The birth of the Ultra Trail dates back to the summer of 1974, specifically to August 4, when an athlete named Gordy Ainsleigh set out to compete in the Western States 100 miles race. This race was done on horseback, but Ainsleigh started it and finished it by advancing firmly on his footsteps. No horse.

The events that led this athlete to compete running and not on horseback seem to be taken from a sitcom, It is not known exactly if they are true or if reality has been mixed, as is often the case with stories that go by word of mouth, with fiction.

The Western States 100 miles is a race that consists of traveling 100 miles in less than 24 hours. The beginning of the route is located in the Tahoe basin, passes through Auburn through high mountains and deep canyons belonging to the Sierra Nevada.

A long race, a hard route, and a peculiar man were the factors that were necessary for something extraordinary to happen: for the ultra trail to become popular. Let a man, on foot, achieve what some horses were not able to achieve.

Gordy was a child somewhat different from the others; his parents divorced before he was born, his mother was a nurse and his grandmother was the one who took care of the housework and taking care of him and his brother. At that time, having a family that was different from the others was not seen with good eyes, so Gordy was a lonely child and the other children did not show much intention of getting together with him.

However, he was loved and loved at home, so he began to go, at lunchtime, day after day, running home, where he ate with his grandmother, and then came back, running back to school. Thus begins his career as a runner; a career that continues when he becomes a newspaper boy. The route he had to take was long, and since the city where he was born and where he lived, Nevada, is located on seven steep hills, it was also tough. To speed up the march, Gordy ran this route, which made him a daily runner.

In high school he made the track team; but he was surprised to see that despite running day after day for the past few seasons, he was the second-slowest runner on the team.

When he went to college, Gordy started renting horses from the Recreation Department, and after a while he bought his first horse. A little later he discovered the existence of the Cavalcade of the Western States. The following year (1971) Gordy ran the race without stirrups, which drew incredible attention among the event organizers, who included him among their group of friends.

Gordy ainsleigh

Gordy's horse was strong and robust, but love blinded the rider and in a passionate and romantic act, he gave it to a girlfriend who did not last long in her life after the delivery of that precious present.

All the events that were happening in Gordy's life were aimed at him being the creator of Ultra Trail Running, but he did not know it yet.

Seeing himself without a horse and wanting to compete, the protagonist of this story began to desperately search for a new horse to act as a Rebelde (This was the name of his first horse). A friend of his, of questionable morals, sold him a half-lame rocinante, which was permanently lame a week before the ride.

A good friend overheard the sad and devastated Gordy say that he would not be able to do the race that year, and that it was the only reason he had to be. Her friend told her why not, she was trying to do it on foot.

The athlete / rider was thinking about this proposal for a while. He kept training for races and marathons, but they were always on trails and didn't feature the terrain, or the distance, and of course, the Western competition. Racing against horses was a tricky subject.

Nonetheless, he began training for this race with insight, under the sun, the heat of early summer and the harshness of dry terrain.

Gordy Ainsleigh creator of the Ultratrail

On the day of the race the thermometer read 42ºC in California, several horses died from the heat and the conditions in which they were. Gordy started the race motivated, but shortly before reaching the middle of the course, he was faint and determined to quit. But his good friend Diane, who accompanied him during all the stages of the race, offered him some food, water, massaged his legs and motivated him to keep running to the finish line. And he got it. From that day, glorious and known to all lovers of horse riding and running, the Western States became the Western States Endurance Run and each year more athletes joined than Gordy, they wanted to make the seemingly impossible possible.

Thanks to Gordy Ainsleigh, today there are Ultra Trail races in the United States and in general, around the world. Although, who knows how many crazy things have been done in the mountain of which we have no record ...

We hope that this article has been interesting for you, has motivated you to set challenges, objectives and goals. Although the path is not always easy, you find obstacles, and you think you can't take it anymore, if you fight with all your might, you will achieve everything you set your mind to.


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